In memory of Nagi

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ESCR-Net member, Habi Center for Environmental Rights, has lost a longstanding leader in the struggle for environmental rights and social justice. Mohamed "Nagi" Ibrahim Mohamed Salem has represented the Habi Center since 2005 when the organization joined ESCR-Net.

Nagi served on the Steering Committee of the Corporate Accountability Working Group since 2014, where he provided leadership and ongoing support to collective work to challenge corporate abuse, advocate for strengthening regulation on corporations and remedy when business-related abuses take place.

“He was a true internationalist at a time when the world was surging to nationalism, particularly in his region,” said Dominic Renfrey of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “He was visionary, realizing early about the importance of tackling corporate capture - particularly in the context of trade.” According to Renfrey, Nagi "expanded what we think about the threat of corporate capture. He stressed that capture isn't something just impacting 'democratic' systems of government. Nagi emphasized that capture is about ensuring that all states - however structured - are free from corporate influence so that everyday human rights concerns of people are also the primary concern of their governments.”

An active member in ESCR-Net’s collective projects, Nagi participated in the 2014 Peoples Forum on Human Rights and Business held in Colombia and the 2015 Peoples Forum held in Kenya. In 2016, Nagi was present during ESCR-Net’s Global Strategy meeting that took place in Argentina. He was also part of the Project Advisory Group on Corporate Capture and, in 2017, contributed to that project via a case about the struggle of communities in Egypt against abuses caused by cement companies.

“Nagi was not only an inspiring colleague, who always pushed us to think harder and deeper about our strategies,” said Fernanda Hopenhaym of the Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER). “[He was] also a lively, cheerful person, who would make us laugh and dance while fighting for our rights”

Mohamed "Nagi" Ibrahim Mohamed Salem will be missed by fellow ESCR-Net members as well as his colleagues in the Habi Center and throughout the human rights movement in Egypt. His legacy will live on as the Network continues to advance collective efforts to promote corporate accountability and defend the rights of communities affected by business-related abuses.